Chicago Green Jobs

Van Jones and Chicago
March 13, 2009, 2:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Van Jones, everybody’s favorite green collar jobs activist, has accepted a job as White House adviser on green jobs. Jones will be working from the Council on Environmental Quality, which coordinates federal agency efforts on the president’s energy, climate change and other environmental policy initiatives. In other words, Jones will be working across all agencies to ensure that green job policy is consistent. The Green For All founder is famous for his stance that green jobs should be made available to people at all rungs of the economic ladder, so this appointment is a strong sign that we’re going to see some serious attention paid to the working poor.

This is objectively awesome, but what does it mean for Chicago? Well for one thing, I’ll have to change the details on the Van Jones quote that headlines this site – now it will read:

“Chicago is the symbol of what a green-collar renaissance can look like.” Van Jones, White House Adviser on Green Jobs

Seriously though, this could be good news for Chicago. Van Jones knows who we are and he likes what he sees. Chicago is highlighted in a user’s guide to the stimulus bill called “Bringing Home the Green Recovery” published by Green For All. The conclusion? Chicago’s Climate Action Plan offers a perfect set of guidelines to spend the stimulus money in ways that best create green jobs.

So we’ve got a man in a position to shape green job policy and funding who is not only a fan of Chicago’s efforts to become a leading green city, he’s  blessed our Climate Action Plan as a model for stimulus funding. I have high hopes from this appointment.

To read the excerpt on Chicago in the “Bringing Home the Green Recovery” report, go to the jump!

Excerpted from Green For All’s report: “Bringing Home the Green Recovery: A User’s Guide to the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act:

Chicago Climate Action Plan
The Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP) outlines five strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change in the areas of energy-efficient buildings, clean and renewable energy sources, improved transportation options, reduced waste and industrial pollution, and adaptation. The CCAP makes it a priority to reach the most underprivileged populations in the city,
ensuring that ambitious green strategies also provide pathways out of poverty to those in need.

The CCAP includes the goals of retrofitting 40 percent of commercial and industrial building stock (comprising 9,000 commercial
and institutional retrofits, and 200 industrial retrofits) and retrofitting 50 percent of residential buildings (comprising 400,000 residential dwelling units, at 65,000 units per year) to achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy use.

If the recovery dollars that Chicago receives are spent in ways consistent with the priority strategies and goals of the CCAP, the Windy City could be a true model of a green and inclusive city.


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